The Let L-410 Turbolet is a twin engined short-range transport aircraft, manufactured by the Czech aircraft manufacturer LET, mostly used for passenger transport. The L-410 first flew in 1969, and with more than 1100 produced, is the most popular 19-seat plane in history.
Development of the L-410 was started in the 1960s by the Czechoslovakian aircraft manufacturer Let Kunovice. The Soviet airline "Aeroflot" was looking for a turbine-powered replacement for the Antonov An-2 aircraft, initiating the design development by Let. After preliminary studies of an aircraft called the L-400, a new version was introduced called the L-410 Turbolet. The first prototype, designated XL-410, flew on April 16, 1969. Because of delays in the development of a suitable Czech engine (Walter M601), the prototype and first production version were powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 engines.
After M601 development was completed, the PT6 engine was replaced by M601 engines coupled with Avia V508 three-blade propellers and the next variant was introduced, the L-410M.
A further version for Aeroflot was the L-410 UVP. This has improved performance in take-off and landing due to increased wing and tail area - STOL. However, due to an increased empty weight and a shift in the center of gravity, the aircraft had a decreased seating capacity: 15 passengers.
The L-410UVP-E (the most common variant of the L-410) has increased maximum take-off weight to 6400 kg, M601E engines with increased power, new five-blade propellers designated V 510 and the provision for wing tip tanks to increase fuel quantity. First flight was made in 1984, and production started in 1986.
The L-410UVP-E9 and UVP-E20 are versions which vary from each other only by minor changes arising from various certification regulations. The last L-410 family member is the L-420 which uses the new Walter engine variant, the M601F.
The L-410 UVP-E is an unpressurized all-metal high-wing commuter aircraft, with Avia V 510 five-blade propellers. It is equipped with a retractable undercarriage. The aircraft uses two hydraulic circuits: main and emergency. The main electrical system operates with 28V DC. The de-icing system is leading edge pneumatic deicers and electrical heating of propellers, cockpit windshields and pitot-static system heads. Maximum take-off weight of the L-410 UVP-E is 6400 kg with the possibility of an increase to 6600 kg for the E9 and E20 variants, seating capacity 17 to 19. Cruise speed is 170 KIAS, maximum range about 770 nautical miles. The airplane is certified for IFR operation, CAT I ILS approach, and flights in icing conditions.
Of the more than 1,100 units built, roughly 500 remain in service. The majority were delivered to the former Soviet Union, but have been resold, particularly to airlines in Asia, Africa and South America. Forty aircraft are in use throughout Europe for commercial operation or skydiving. There are also an unknown number in Russia and Soviet breakaway states. The aircraft can be used with short or even unpaved runways.
At August 2006 313 L-410 aircraft remain in airline service. Major operators include: Rivne Universal Avia (13), Atlantic Airlines de Honduras (10), Searca (9), South East Asian Airlines (7), NHT Linhas Aéreas (6), manx2.com (3), TEAM Linhas Aéreas (3), SOL Linhas Aéreas (2), Tortug' Air (3), Kazan Air Enterprise (2) and Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos (2). Around 111 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the type.
Former Civilian Operators
Former Military Operators
On August 6, 1977, a L-410 crashed into the lake Balaton killing one man on board.
On September 10, 2001, a L-410 carrying 19 people, including University of Washington Husky football fans, alumni and alumni association members crashed into the jungle in the Mexican state of Yucatan killing all on board.
On June 2, 2005, a L-410 of Transportes Aereos Guatemaltecos, reg. TG-TAG, carrying 17 passengers on board crashes near Zacapa shortly after take-off. The crew tried to return to the airfield after reporting technical problems. All crew and passengers survive the accident.
On June 21, 2007, an L-410 operated by Karibu Airways crashed shortly after taking off from Kamina Airport. One passenger, a member of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was killed .
On October 8, 2007, a L-410UVP-E10A carrying 15 soldiers and 3 crew members crashed in Cerro Bravo, Colombia.
In 31st of March, 2006 TEAM had a fatal accident. TEAM Flight 6865 departed Macaé (MEA) at 17:19 on a scheduled flight to Rio de Janeiro (SDU). The airplane PT-FSE was expected to arrive at 18:02. Contact was lost and the flight appeared to have crashed between the cities of Saquarema and Rio Bonito. All 19 people onboard died.
Published - July 2009
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